North Dakota has released August production data for the Bakken and also for all North Dakota.

Bakken production was down 46,433 barrels per day to 930,931 bod, All North Dakota was down 48,695 bpd to 981,039 bpd. This is first time North Dakota has been below 1 million barrels per day since March of 2014.


Bakken barrels per day per well dropped by 4 to 97 while all North Dakota bpd per well dropped by 3 to 76.

From the Director’s Cut

Oil Production

July           31,921,757 barrels = 1,029,734 barrels/day
August      30,412,200 barrels =   981,039 barrels/day (preliminary)(all-time high was Dec 2014 at 1,227,483 barrels/day)

Producing Wells

July           13,265
August      13,289 (preliminary)(all-time high)


July           86 drilling and 0 seismic
August      99 drilling and 1 seismic September   63 drilling and 1 seismic (all time high was                    370 in 10/2012)

ND Sweet Crude Price

July               $35.57/barrel
August          $33.73/barrel
September   $32.98/barrel Today     $39.75/barrel (all-time high was $136.29 7/3/2008)

 Rig Count

July             31
August        32
September   34 Today’s rig count is 33     (all-time high was 218 on 5/29/2012)


The drilling rig count increased one from July to August, then increased two from August to September, and is down one more from September to today.  Operators remain committed to running the minimum number of rigs while oil prices remain below $60/barrel WTI.  The number of well completions rose from 44(final) in July to 59(preliminary) in August.  Oil price weakness is the primary reason for the slow-down and is now anticipated to last into at least the fourth quarter of this year and perhaps into the second quarter of 2017.  There were no significant precipitation events, 11 days with wind speeds in excess of 35 mph (too high for completion work), and no days with temperatures below -10F.

The new October OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report is out with crude only production numbers for September 2016. All charts are in thousand barrels per day.


OPEC crude only production reached 33,394,000 barrels per day in September. This includes Gabon. Since May, OPEC production has increased .8 million barrels per day.



Algeria is in slow decline.


Angola seems to be holding steady.


Ecuador was sharply down in August but seems to be holding steady for the last two years.


Gabon has been added to OPEC but their production is so low it will have little effect one way or the other.


Indonesia will also not affect OPEC production in a big way one way or the other.


Iran’s increase since sanctions were lifted has slowed to a crawl. There are other problems on the horizon for Iran. They are talking about changing all their oil field contracts to “buy back” contracts. That is they want the option to nationalize all everything. This will likely cause a mass exodus of foreign oil companies from Iran and hit their production considerably.


Iraq’s production was up 105,000 bpd in September. Though this was 56,000 bpd above their January high, I don’t think it is anything to get excited about. Iraq, like everyone else in OPEC, is positioning themselves for an OPEC “freeze” in oil production. So they are producing every barrel possible in order to freeze at the very highest level possible.


Kuwait has recovered from the problems they had in April. I expect their production to flatten out here with a slight decline over the next few years.


Libya’s problems continue, and will likely continue for a long while yet.


Nigeria’s problems continue and shows little signs of improving.


Qatar’s oil production seems to have bottomed out since late 2014.


Saudi saw a slight decline in September.


The United Arab Emirates had some problems earlier this year but they seem to have recovered. I think they will hold production steady for a while now. I really don’t think they can increase production much above 3 million barrels per day.


Venezuela’s oil production is still dropping but the decline seems to be slowing. Venezuela has very serious economic problems. They are nearing the “failed state” status.



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